-By David J Lieto (aka The Squeeg)
Mrs. Squeeg and I had the good fortune of scoring tickets to the 2nd Anniversary Celebration at Uncle Vinnie’s Comedy Club in Point Pleasant Beach, NJ. Uncle Vinnie’s is well known in these parts for excellent food, service and great comedy. We knew we were going to have a great time which was only increased when we were able to sit down and spend a few minutes with one of the night’s headliners, Don Jamieson.
A frequent guest of Howard Stern, Don, along with partner Jim Florentine, is gearing up to film a pilot for Comedy Central called Meet The Creeps.
DON: Basically it’s a hidden camera show where me and Jim - and a few of our comedian friends - go out and pull pranks on people…
SQUEEG: How do you film them without them catching on?
DON: We’ve got a camera that fits into a pen cap. The cameraman puts the pen next to his ear and no one ever knows they’re being filmed… And that’s the best part because [someone's] natural reaction is often the funniest reaction… and we’re able to capture that and it’s great.
There’s certainly truth in that. If you visit Don’s website, www.DONJAMIESON.com, you can see clips from the first two seasons of Meet The Creeps. The clip entitled “Urban Fishing” is one of my favorites.
DON: We took little Spongebob Squarepants fishing rods and reels, and fishing hats… and went to this store down in Chinatown where they have these live fish tanks and we just started fishing there… the whole idea is we just act like what were doing is normal… they come up to us, you know, tellin’ us we can’t do what we’re doing and we’re like ‘No, no we got it from here. You can take care of the other customers.’ Our friend K.C. was trying to reel one in… Water was splashin’ all around and the pole was bent over. And People are standin’ there, in amazement, watching us as we pulled in one of these catfish. They were just in awe… But it wasn’t like we just did it in vain, we bought the fish… By the way, no fish were hurt in the making of that video…
SQUEEG: Wait a minute… If you’re just shooting the pilot now, how did you get two seasons of “Meet The Creeps” on DVD?
DON: They [Comedy Central] launched a broadband network, called the Mother Load… [Meet The Creeps] was one of the original shows for that so we did two seasons on there and… now they asked us to do a pilot for a primetime show for tv.
An interesting accolade, an Emmy, was bestowed upon both Don and Jim. This was the result of appearing on HBO’s Inside The NFL.
DON: They [Inside The NFL Execs] offered us a chance to do some comedy spots on their show… They had seen our hidden camera stuff and thought it would be funny to do that with some of the players or fans. So we did some Meet The Creeps style stuff which they thought was a little too hardcore for what they wanted and they decided we should do some scripted stuff. We did some funny stuff… and got some really good experience because neither one of us did much scripted work before. We did sports-themed pieces…like we did one on how guys kind of go through like a drug withdrawal in that week between the regular season and the play-offs. So we did six or seven pieces like that and HBO strung them together and submitted them for an Emmy… We didn’t think we’d ever get it. We’re just two guys from New Jersey. We figured all we get is a free dinner and some drinks… So all these respected broadcasters are winning, like Bob Costas and Chris Berman, and we missed it… we were in suits and couldn’t wait to get out of them. We were planning on going to a Rock concert in Jersey. And that’s all we were thinkin’ about. So we ended up not even knowing we won until all these people started coming around shaking our hands and congratulating us.
If you’ve never caught Don’s act you’re really missing out on some great stuff. The Mrs. and I have seen him 4 times and every time we go it seems we laugh harder than the time before. On this occasion I laughed so hard I nearly fell out of my wheelchair. But Don’s humor translates well in any size venue. He recently opened for Andrew “Dice” Clay at the Borgata in Atlantic City and at the Mandalay Bay in Vegas.
DON: Jim and I are huge Dice fans. We can recite lines from all his CDs. Well, Jim met him out in L.A. and they became good friends. So Jim started opening for him and there was this one time when Jim couldn’t do it and he recommended me which was great. Of course, the Dice-man’s a great comic and his audience is all pumped up so it’s really easy to play. But the great thing was, here I come off the stage and “Dice” - this guy I’ve idolized for years - he’s back there laughing and repeating some of my lines. It’s just phenomenal the way something like that makes you feel.
When asked about his recent appearances on Stern - the ones since Howard left “terrestrial” radio - Don said:
“I did a couple of the Roasts and, hopefully, we’ll be on there to promote Meet The Creeps but, yeah, he’s been great. He lets us come on there to promote our gigs and our merchandise. He’s played segments from our Terrorizing Telemarketers CD. He’s been really good to us.”
Mrs. Squeeg and I have known Don since 2002, when he starred in a short film I wrote and directed. He is one of the most down-to-earth and self-effacing guys I’ve ever met. I’m proud to know him and to call him a friend.
DON: It’s amazing all the things I’ve accomplished over the ten years I’ve been doing this and, yet, nobody knows my name…
They will, Don. They most certainly will.
Several years have past since the last time I wrote for any kind of periodical - web-based or otherwise. The last article I wrote concerned an appearance I did on the Howard Stern Show, 12 years earlier.
It was triumphant moment for me because an accident 4 years earlier made writing a near impossibility. But thanks to intense therapy, good doctors, and some REAL good pain meds I regained the practical use of my typing finger.
So now I’m here. I have to thank Ming Chen, Ken Plume, and, of course, Kevin Smith for giving me a chance.
Future articles will feature the Vegas scene with interviews and reviews.
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